Saint Francis blew out Duquesne, 51-14, on Saturday afternoon at DeGol Field. The Dukes were just overmatched from the beginning, as Joe Mishler struggled immensely and the defense got torched by Saint Francis quarterback Cole Doyle, who threw for 241 yards and four touchdowns. With the loss, the Dukes dropped to 3-7 on the season and are 2-4 in conference play.
Saint Francis (8-2) answered first with a 42-yard field goal by Alex Schmoke to give the Red Flash an early 3-0 lead. Dwayne Menders Jr. muffed a punt, which set Saint Francis up at the Dukes’ 31-yard line, but Duquesne’s defense executed a three-and-out to force the field goal.
Doyle capped a 5-play, 62-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Sarratt to give the Red Flash a 9-0 lead with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point was no good. Sarratt made a spectacular grab in the back right corner of the end zone on the score.
After a forced three-and-out, Doyle connected to Makai Jackson for a 10-yard touchdown to enhance Saint Francis’ lead to 16-0. It was a 7-play, 61-yard touchdown drive by the Red Flash that took just 2:17 off the clock. Jackson had three receptions for 54 yards on the drive.
Saint Francis continued to dominate, as Doyle off play-action found tight end Hunter Brown in the flat for a 2-yard touchdown to give the Red Flash a commanding 23-0 lead with 5:58 remaining in the first half.
Doyle finished off a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brown to increase Saint Francis’ lead to 30-0 at halftime. It was the second time that Doyle connected to Brown for a touchdown on the afternoon. Duquesne just couldn’t muster anything offensively, as Mishler was 5 of 13 for 58 yards in the first half. The Dukes also struggled to protect Mishler. Doyle lit it up in the first half, completing 15 of 27 passes for 241 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Duquesne finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter, as backup quarterback Jordan Heisey rushed for a 2-yard touchdown to make it a 30-7 game. Heisey rotated with Mischler at quarterback throughout the second half. A blocked punt set up the score for the Dukes.
The Dukes forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but they were unable to build off the momentum, as defensive lineman John Courtney picked off Mischler’s ill-advised pass and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown to give the Red Flash a 37-7 lead.
Duquesne blocked another punt, and this one went for a touchdown. Luke Harris scooped up the loose ball and went in for the score from 5 yards out.
Saint Francis responded, as Justin Sliwoski connected to Sarrat for a 27-yard touchdown. Jackson sealed the win for the Red Flashes with a 26-yard touchdown run.
The Dukes will return home to Rooney Field for their 2022 finale against Wagner next Saturday at noon.